Love with a Chance of Drowning, redux

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A couple of years ago I came across a rather talented blogger by the name of Torre DeRoche, who had a very interesting back story. She’d sailed across the god-damned Pacific Ocean.

Rather than being a female version of Thor Heyerdahl, however, all daring and adventure, Torre was … well … a little different. Her story was more barf bags than bravery, more freaking out than fearlessly heading into the blue. There’s a good reason her blog is called Fearful Adventurer, I guess.

In any case, after finding the man of her dreams and sailing across an ocean with him despite overwhelming fear and an abject hatred of deep water, Torre decided to write a book about the experience. Turned down by major publishers, she persevered and published it herself … and I had no idea what to expect when she sent me a copy of “Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning” to take a look at.

As it turned out, it was easily one of the best books I had ever read, travel or otherwise. As I said in my review at the time:

This is not really a story about sailing.  It is not really a story about travel.  It is a story about love – the love between two people, the love of adventure, the love of confronting your fears and realising that you are capable of doing so much more than you ever believed you could.

All you need to do is cast off the lines that tie you to shore and set yourself free to try.

Love note on sand

Shortly after reading her book, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Torre and Ivan (he of handsome-Latin-man-sailing-across-the-ocean-love-interest fame). Over the couple of months that I had remaining in Melbourne, we managed to find several opportunities to eat vast amounts of Vietnamese food, drink too many beers and sing songs about an anatomically-unlikely horse in a shop window. As you do.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the only person who had been blown away by Torre’s captivating writing. Within weeks the social media buzz grew, soon resulting in a bidding war from major players for both the book and film rights. Rather impressive for a debut novel – a novel that, once a deal was struck, was removed from the Amazon store and has been unavailable ever since.

Until last week.

If you can watch that trailer and not want to immediately go pick up the book, you’re a better person than I.

Not long after I moved to Thailand, Torre and Ivan did too. For a year or more she was hard at work rewriting and extending the manuscript, turning something that I already thought was close to perfect into an absolute work of art. While the title has been shortened slightly to Love with a Chance of Drowning, the novel itself has now grown by 10,000 words. The story remains the same, of course, but there’s more detail, more background, more of that dry, self-deprecating wit that so sold me on it the first time round.

I could go on about the book for hours (and if you ever catch me at a bar in a pensive mood, I probably will), but I think there’s an easier way to find out how good it really is.

Just go and pick it up. It’s under ten dollars on Kindle, a buck or two more for the printed version, and once you’ve opened the first page you won’t be even slightly interested in what I’ve got to say about it. Just make sure the fridge is well-stocked and be sure to cancel any appointments you’ve got planned, as you won’t be leaving the house again any time soon.

Oh, and don’t blame Torre if you are suddenly seized by an overwhelming desire to buy a yacht and go sailing around the world. It happens to the best of us…

Lauren tweet


Bonus! In return for me not sharing any more embarrassing stories about her, Torre has offered to give away a copy of her wonderful book to anyone that lives in North America! So, if you do, just leave a comment below that mentions what your favourite disproportionate animal is, and I’ll pick a winner in a week or so…

6 Responses to “Love with a Chance of Drowning, redux

  • Favorite disproportionate animal ever: the giraffe. Have you seen one running? It feels they do so in slow motion but they are fast as hell.

    I wish I could fake I live in North America, but I live in a tiny town in Spain, Dave. Can’t wait to read that book.

  • Favorite disproportionate animal: horses with their elegant but skinny legs.

  • My favorite disproportionate animal? Hmmmmm, have to be the miniature horse. They have bigger heads and bodies but such short stumpy legs it looks awkward as heck.

  • I don’t live in North America so not commenting to go for the competition but just to say thanks for the great post! I had heard about this book on the grapevine and in passing but it’s cool to hear about it in such an honest way. Will pick up a copy immediately!

  • Fave disproportionate animal: Pudu. It looks so strange as most deer are tall and skinny. Having a non-existent tail helps too.

  • My fave disproportionate animal is the aye-aye. Their bat like ears, round bug eyes, gangly, LONG middle finger, long, poofy tail, and lanky legs makes this cute, gremlin like primate a winner in my book! Oh, the ones with sparse fur are even more awesome looking 🙂

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